A Comparison of the Gaits of Paretic Patients With the Gaits of Control Subjects Carrying a Load
S T Eke-Okoro, L E Larsson
The gaits of 15 patients with peripheral and central paresis were studied. They were compared both with a control group of the same age and sex and with a group of nine subjects who carried varying weights. Velocity was low in the patients and this was due to decreases of both stride length and stride frequency. Load did not significantly decrease the velocity of the control subjects, since unlike the patients, they had the ability to compensate for a low stride length by significantly increasing stride frequency. The significant lowering of stride length in both groups was a similarity between them. The patients were also similar to the loaded normal subjects in having a shortened duration of the single support and a prolonged double support. The patients with hemisymptoms also showed significant differences between the two sides for the durations of both single and double support. The results obtained from this study justify our hypothesis that a subject who is carrying a load may in certain respects be considered as a model of a subject with paresis. The remaining differences may be explained by the fact that in the experimental situation, the leg was loaded only during stance, while in paresis the legs may be considered relatively loaded during the whole stride.
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